EA Sports owned up to an unforced error Thursday night after people realized a lyric featuring Colin Kaepernick’s name had been scrubbed from the new Madden game’s soundtrack.
“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack,” EA said in a statement. “Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect soundtracks. We messed up, and the edit should never have happened. We will make it right, with an update to Madden NFL 19 on August 6 that will include the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake.”
Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, retweeted a clip of the edited audio. Big Sean, the rapper who delivers the verse, also expressed his disappointment.
This seems like a plausible scenario and an honest mistake. But it’s an example of the Butterfly Effect from Kaepernick’s protest. Like how we can’t talk about the league without a furious conversation about what constitutes patriotism.
The good news is that a swift update likely takes any steam out of the controversy. And that gamers can mash the buttons with a clean conscience going forward.